Recruiting heating up for USF men's basketball
USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath has three scholarships to use in this recruiting class, and with summer evaluations completed, the Bulls are starting to bring in recruits for visits as they try to address a few key positions in the early signing period. Heath has said he wants to sign a combo guard, a big wing and a big man in this class.
The first name we can mention is Cady LaLane, a 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward from Orlando Oak RIdge who came to campus Saturday for an unofficial visit, according to Matt Ramker, president of the Florida Rams AAU program. LaLane -- the first name is pronounced like "caddy" -- has three visits set up for September, going to Massachusetts, VCU and Georgia, Ramker said. He's also considering George Mason and Mississippi. Rivals rates LaLane as a three-star recruit.
Coming in Tuesday for an unofficial visit is Waverly Austin, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound center who now calls Jacksonville home, though he'll spend this season at Maine Central Institute. Austin just missed qualifying last season, but hopes to use a year of prep school to add bulk to his frame. He has a long list of suitors -- USF, Cincinnati, Florida International, Central Florida, West Virginia, Texas A&M, Marquette, Georgetown, Temple, George Washington and Houston -- but said Heath has been on him persistently.
"South Florida and Cincinnati have recruited me the most, but I'm still wide-open," said Austin, who said his strengths are being able to run the floor well and finish in transition.
Being close to Jacksonville is a plus for USF, and he's originally from northern Virginia, so he has played with Bulls sophomore Gus Gilchrist and trained with Terrelle Woody, now USF's video coordinator, at the Hoop Magic facility in Virginia.
One more name to mention is Marvell Waithe, a 6-8, 205-pound forward from Tallahassee Community College who averaged 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. Waithe has good range as well, having hit a team-high 45 3-pointers last season, at a 39 percent clip.
"I love to shoot. It's what I do," said Waithe, who said schools are primarily recruiting him as a small forward, but he feels comfortable playing at power forward if necessary. Waithe, originally from Toronto, said what he likes the most about USF would be the chance to play in an elite conference.
"I know they're in the Big East, and I love that," he said. "Them being in that conference has me very interested in them. You're playing great teams every night in the Big East."
Waithe said he is also considering Pittsburgh, LSU, Arkansas and Rutgers, among others, and his coach at TCC, Eddie Barnes, said he expects Heath to make a personal visit on the first day or two once that period opens next month.
This is just three names out of many USF is targeting -- we'll have more this week, trying to get caught up on basketball recruiting before football season sets in.